In the Bleak Midwinter

Last December from the back Deck

Last December at the water

We had our first freeze last night. It's officially my third winter in nineteen years, so I'm still all about the newness and freshness of it. I had occasion to be out in the very wee hours and diamonds of frost greeted me on my windshield. Breath-puffed, lungs burned, and I assumed the standard winter posture: shoulders hunched, hands plunged in pockets as I made the dash from vehicle to building.  By afternoon it was nearly 70* again, but this morning's frost was a messenger: winter is coming.  As much as I gloat and revel through autumn, winter makes me introspective and a bit melancholy, Today, little bands of sadness have wrapped themselves around my heart and squeezed. It was a day of the big questions.  What am I doing? What more can I do? How can I possibly do more with less? What have I wasted and can that waste be redeemed? Big questions that don't always have easy or answers.

I recently asked God to break my heart for the things that break his heart.

It's a vision that overwhelms me, and that's just here, right here, in the small town of Milledgeville, Ga. Strongholds and adversaries, apathy and complacency, racism and poverty are all. right. here. on my doorstep. Who am I to walk up to the gates of hell and begin pounding, asking for release? It's bleak. It's dark and cold and lonely and, let's be honest, scary.  It's easy for me to love cute children on a page of stationary in a country far away. Easy to write a check, write a letter, say a prayer (and don't get me wrong, I believe in the value of these acts, in the deepest way imaginable - but the fact remains that it is a sterile way to fight the enemy).  Being heart broken means being humbled, the humble are lowly, and dirty, they do uncomfortable things like hug lepers and wash feet.  These things, they are not sterile. They are not easy.

What have I wasted? What am I doing? What more can I do?

I have asked. When the answer comes, will I be ready? Will I obey? Or will fear tell me that one person can't possibly make a difference even in this one. small. town?  Do I believe God? Do I believe He can do in me and through me the things He has promised to do?

When snow falls, it gathers, it blankets and fills hollows, covers over the dirt and the mess cleaning and purifying.  Washing every thing white as snow, brilliant, blinding and clean. The thing about snow is, it falls alone. One unique flake at a time, but together, those flakes close this town down like an army has come and we are besieged.

One flake at a time.

What then can I give him? I must give my heart.

1 comment:

Lorri said...

Like I said, one step ahead of me every time. Thank you!